Where Have All the Cheats Gone?

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It should be pointed out, however, that cheating on PC is still fairly common. Granted that's because you have access to the console and all the games data files, but that's one of the major differences between PC and console games. You needed an accessory to cheat in most console games even back in the day. Although the cheat market boomed, and devs didn't necessarily mind, most games were not built with cheat functionality in mind.

Games are also better designed and testing has become more thorough as third-party outsourcing has boomed. Exploits and other game-breaking behaviour are less common as a result.

Game cheats always felt like debugging code that they decided to leave in.


They originally were. The Konami Code was created in Gradius because the guy who was coding the port to NES could'nt beat the game, it was too hard. So he coded in a cheat so he could zoom through levels when testing. He forgot to remove it when the game was released. Before push-button cheat, cheating involved memory hacks or altering the data while the game was loaded into memory but before the program was ran (which you had to do separately back in the day). Codes that were designed specifically to be found (think GoldenEye) were a result of the boom in popularity. Even now, when games are in testing, many have a debug mode coded in that gets locked out in the release build. These often function just like the cheat codes of old.

Sadly instead of cheats we get interesting "glitches". I miss the days of actual cheats and not having to rely on glitches. There are still some games that allow cheats but you normally have to unlock the ability to use them and a few left that allow them right away.

I still want to be able to cheat in my games because it makes them more fun.

I can't even count how many posts of mine have been about cheat codes.

Developers need to go back to their games, put up the neccessary walls and partitions so that they don't have to tell you "If you cheat once on your alternate save, all of your achievements are locked for ever"

Did they ever fix the thing in COD 4 where if you pick up an intel with a cheat on it wrecks the cheevoes for it?

Games are better with cheats,

I swear the most fun I had on Halo 2 was someone illegally modded a console and let people play on it so your magnum shot standing clones of your character, smgs shot plasma grenades at the same rate as it shoots bullets, and assault rifles shot rockets.

Let us cheat and have our cheevos, that is their job to do. Why do they not do it?

Cheats and mods were mostly ousted by DLC, not achievements.

Games like GTA4 and Rock Band have shown that cheats can work well with achievements. All you have to do is disable achievements whenever a cheat is entered.

However, with the rise of DLC as a way to get customers to pay for more or even preorder, companies are starting to avoid cheats. If you have a preorder code from Gamestop that gives you a grenade launcher and $1000 in the beginning of the game, that is basically your "cheat". If cheats were enabled, you'd give yourself money and weapons dozens of times over with no care. Unique preorder weapons are already in the game code; cheat and you'd get them. If the game is too hard, you can just buy some DLC that gives you a MegaDethLauncher and Superman as a party member.

Cheats, similar to mods, have been replaced by DLC. If you want to cheat and beat the game, you'll have to pay for it.

I cannot bring myself to comprehend why people go so crazy over achievements in the first place; it's just an overgrown progress bar. They should leave achievements for the people that actually give a crap about it, and let the rest of us have a little bit of fun. As for online gaming killing cheats? How about no. If the console companies weren't too lazy to develop a decent anti-cheat system, we could have Gamesharks in the current gen without unbalancing multiplayer. That's why I had absolutely no sympathy for Sony when they were crying about how modded PS3s would destroy multiplayer: get off your lazy butts and develop some anti-cheat software already. You don't see Valve shutting down TF2 because of rampant cheating, despite the fact that anyone who wants to can go download wall hacks and aimbots, without any real technical knowledge needed. Between VAC and the self policing community, it's just not an issue.

GTA has cheats

Cheats are still around - They're simply being sold to us now as DLC.

Where Have All the Cheats Gone?

Cheating used to be an integral part of videogame culture, but Achievements and Trophies ruined that fun forever.

Read Full Article

Very true.

It's one of the same things that ruin the fun of roleplaying games -- from pen/paper to MMOs. When players begin (perhaps naturally) comparing themselves to each other, we begin to standardize fun. "You must enjoy the game this way, so that we may compare and see who has enjoyed it better."

Poorly-implemented PvP systems in roleplaying games (read: nearly all current PvP systems) result in many players not being able to build the character they want. They have to do it the "right" way, or risk being marginalized. Even PvE has this problem, as you might not be accepted to a particular group if they demand a particular "build" or "spec" for your character type. And these can be as true in tabletop games as in MMOs or core-RPGs.

The loss of old-fashioned cheats is just another symptom of that same problem: We're trying to standardize the experience of gaming. We cater to a particular playstyle, rather than allowing for different ways. We cater to a particular type of reward or achievement, rather than allowing players to choose for themselves what the most rewarding part of the game may be. And, what's worse, those elements that speak to even a large minority are increasingly written off as "unnecessary." They get "streamlined" out, so that all that's left is content that appeals to the hyper-competitive masses.

It's not just about multiple paths to success. It's also about multiple meta-methods of enjoying the game. Maybe I just want to relive some fun moments of a beloved game, so I want to enter a cheat and skim it easily. Maybe it's a new game, and I want to experience the story first and then add the challenge back in later. Maybe my XBox died, and I don't want to have to unlock all the same stuff again on my new console. Maybe my friends and I don't want to have to play all the crappy characters/levels/songs just to unlock the good ones, so we can play the stuff we want tonight.

The kind of cheats I always liked best were not mere 'cheats' that made the game easier to beat, but rather the ones that induced all sorts of oddball behaviour that isn't supposed to be standard gameplay but could still be a huge amount of fun.

For instance, a lot of cheats in the earlier Grand Theft Auto games fall into that category, like the one that allowed you to jump so high you could leap from rooftop to rooftop, and the one that made your punches so strong they would send people flying down the street. And, of course, the cheats that gave everyone weapons and made them all attack each other. The city would erupt into a riot and you'd see grannies running around with flamethrowers. :D

Those are the kind of cheats I miss the most.

I still don't understand how hard it could be to lock achievements if you cheat. Hell,Valve has that in all their games.

Casual Shinji:
Cheats are still around - They're simply being sold to us now as DLC.

...and Preorder Incentives.

What's the point in preordering from Gamestop for the $1000 and the Grenade Launcher when you can just cheat and get them anyways. DLC found on the disc can just be cheated into the game.

Ultimately, DLC and Cheats are conflicting in goal. Given between the choice of money or no money, the companies will choose DLC.

The kind of cheats I always liked best were not mere 'cheats' that made the game easier to beat, but rather the ones that induced all sorts of oddball behaviour that isn't supposed to be standard gameplay but could still be a huge amount of fun.

For instance, a lot of cheats in the earlier Grand Theft Auto games fall into that category, like the one that allowed you to jump so high you could leap from rooftop to rooftop, and the one that made your punches so strong they would send people flying down the street. And, of course, the cheats that gave everyone weapons and made them all attack each other. The city would erupt into a riot and you'd see grannies running around with flamethrowers. :D

Those are the kind of cheats I miss the most.

I totally agree. Being able to play a game completely differently was one of the best things about widespread cheats. I remember Need for Speed 2 let you change your car into pieces of the environment. Racing around a track as a giant wooden log in NFS2 was one of my fondest memories of any racing game ever.

2 resons
3 words each

reason 1: higher develolement costs.

content requires time, and time is money.
and with technology being what it is it takes alot of time to make more content.
and the developers want you to see as much of the content to justify the develpoment cost.
cheats might not take time but they are not even remontely cost effective.

they cannot afford to mess around making cheat codes anymore.

reason 2: big narrative push

developers want their games to have a thick meaty storys, mostly because they love us a big huggy bunch. producers want to make money, so with the "games are art" crowd pushing for an exploration of the human condition as opposed to just experiences, therefor they capitalise on the idea. cheats unfortunately put a hairline fracture through the narrative.

tl:dr again.
they want stroy more than cheats.

personally im behind the games are art sort who want games to unlock a better potential and all cheat codes were was faffing about.

yes cheats are fun.
but it's a short lived kind of fun when compared to being right in the thick of the game.

for a metaphor
i'de rather go to a party than a piss-up.

There really is no good reason for games not to have cheats these days. Achievements or online multiplayer don't particularly make cheats that much more difficult to implement.

At the very least cheats don't even have to be gameplay-changing, there's absolutely no problem with having aeshetic cheats such as mirroring the world or changing the character's appearance.

Then with gameplay changing cheats you just have to use a few security measures to make sure that players can't alter the game and sneak cheats past the filter and use them to gain achievements or an advantage online.

Cheats are dead, long live mods?

For us console folks, we use USB drives and save editors. Nigh infinite ammo for the Widow in ME2? Level bumps for the DA games? Ultra-rare weapons in Borderlands? Yes, please. :D

I'm Surfing on the right side of Cinnabar Island...

I remember the CLUAConsole cheats of Baldur's Gate 2. 10 years ago I couldn't get very far in the game without them. Spawning infinte Identify scrolls or an army of dopplegangers, getting a Holy Avenger for all of my paladins, teleporting straight to Hell, level capping 5 minutes in, or spawning a hostile Red Dragon in the middle of the Copper Coronet... The actual story of the game is great, but you could make your own (sometimes better!) stories with cheat mode. Those were the days.

Cheat Codes are the appendix of gaming's anatomy. We've moved beyond the need of them. Seriously, using a Game Genie to get past the hardest bits in Zombies Ate My Neighbors was acceptable because the game was unbelievably difficult at certain areas. Bosses could take your entire collected arsenal to defeat and God help you if you didn't save enough Soda Can Grenades to best the Big Big Baby.

But seriously, who needs a cheat code to finish Gears of War? The game developers have gotten good at making games we can all enjoy and adding multiple difficulties to accomodate those who want more challenge or those who want an easy ride. As a result, there just isn't much of a call for a cheat code structure in 99 out of 100 games made these days.

So as much fun as it was adding in those fun little asides in days past, I think the industry has kind of grown out of it. The darker side of the removal of cheat codes is that they can sell you special features after the fact and call it "Special DLC". This is what you should be calling out, not the gamerscore. But that of course, is just my opinion.

If there's one thing I miss with the departure of game cheats it's the void created by the absence of gaming's patron saint of cheat codes


Darksiders and Prototype have cheats... Well, one cheat each... And it's to get items that you would get early on anyway... GTA still holds strong with only a few achievements disabled when you cheat, and even then its as simple as saving after you cheat and restart and the achievements are enabled again with all the extra guns, health, and armor (And helicopter if you are a sicko and parked it in the yellow lines.)

As mentioned above in this thread the cheat codes we know of were developement tools.
Don't want to play 15 levels to test a boss fight? Use the codes to skip levels to that point , add some upgrades while at it to simulate progress to that point.
Repeat 145 times to find that odd glitch that makes game crash...

Today the development tools are much more advanced and testing games does not require cheat codes in the same manner. Access to ingame console commands during testing probably replaced much of the codes.

I remember my Media Studies for my practical module telling me about how he used to play this football-type game either on the PC or the NES (I think it was the latter) and how he'd mod it so he could turn the footballs into grenades. This way, whenever the players went to kick it, they blew up.

His words (including hand gestures): "You'd run over to the grenade, kick it, then your wee player explodes. PEW!". Bless him.

I think Ratchet & Clank have cheats which you can unlock but they're no good to me by the time I do unlock 'em. :P


I really want proper cheats in my games. Out of new games only Duke Nukem Forever has real, proper cheats (god mode BTW disables trophies).

I sometimes replay Blood on PC. Eventually it pisses me off and then I type "Lara Croft" and start firing bouncing endless napalm balls in all directions. I wish more games did that now...
I mean, you can't go wrong with a lot of napalm.
Oh, and some older cheats were delicious. Shadow Warrior anyone? Purely cosmetic cheat... That replaced your missiles with white exploding rabbits? I believe Postal 2 stole the idea later (cats instead of machinegun bullets).

When achievements came out, cheats had to go. That and some cheats could mess up game saves. Better off without them, some were fun and I do miss them.

Don't miss em, don't need them. I think they made my gaming sessions cheaper and dull. God-mode makes for good times.....for 5 minutes.

I like the challenge that comes from beating a game legit. Should the game be so hopelessly broken and useless that it would necessitate the use of cheats then fine. Though that raises the question of why am i playing the game in the first place.

I always loved cheats and never cared for gamer points or how many trophies I had to impress my internet friends I don't know or care about. The fact of the matter is cheats always made me play through a game a second, third, fourth, etc. amount of times while I never liked playing through the same experience over and over achievement hunting.

I miss cheats as well...
They used to essentially double the lifespan of any video-game; you'd beat the game without cheats, then you'd beat it with cheats.

This so many times. And a game like Just Cause 2 almost needs some at a certain point to become playable... mercenary mode with limited ammo for common weapons only? F*** that, I want my uber-grappling hook and over 9000 rockets to fire at anything that moves! And those elites with MGs still get me too often...

Never-the-less, I miss teh cheats.

The 'activate a cheat code, disable achievements' sounds perfectly reasonable to me. People who care about achievements can still get them, people who don't can cheat to their heart's content.

I think it isn't just achievements though: Games just got simpler. Pretty much all AAA titels are designed to be beatable by everyone, often in a few hours. There's not much of reason to add cheats that shave off more of the game's lifetime. On the other hand, there is a reason for achievements to be put in since they increase the time spent on the game. Almost all mainstream games with long life times rely on online content to expand their duration, and cheating has to be disabled there, natch. The only long singleplayer games I can think of are 4X games like Civilization. Does that still have cheats? I don't really know.

My favourite game to cheat was Age of Empires, where you could spawn a black car with a huge missile launcher on the prehistoric battlefield. Far more satisfying than a simple 'win game' cheat, and yet it amounted to pretty much the same thing.

Cheats still exist, they're just apart of the game now, regenerating health for example.

I think cheats have died because almost every game has an online multiplayer component. That and even when the game is a single player game, the game is so story based that cheats would ruin the game.

Up down left right B, A Start!

I do miss cheats quite a bit. I never used them on the first play-through, instead using them to enhance the game when I went back to it. Invincibility would let me take my time and explore the world. Take in every pixel of that wall without worrying about something killing me. Extra weapons let me have some more fun in early levels absolutely destroying low level enemies.

I think the last cheat I have used was in HL2 on the 360. The Konami code gives you a medpack. I still remember my first cheat though. Playing Doom coop with my dad on these bulky old laptops. We got bored and started shooting at each other, all of a sudden he stopped dying. I had no idea what was going on until he burst out laughing and told me to type "IDDQD" really fast. The man's eyes went gold and it started a golden age for me.

Who needs cheats when you've got console commands?

...And anyways, though I cheated quite a bit when I was younger, I stopped quite a bit before the advent of achievements, so I never noticed this phenomenon. I just like playing games the way they were meant to be played.

Ah Game Genie..... I remember a time when you could put the strongest possible cheats into Ghosts 'n Goblins... and that game would still spit in your face and make you its bitch.

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start ... sorry, had to get that out of my system.
Yeah I do miss cheat codes and everything ... and the achievement whores are really annoying.

I miss my Gameshark. It's been gathering dust for years!
Simpson's Hit & Run cheats were quite fun.

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